Day: February 26, 2011

Voice Spoken Weather Report

Here is a Powershell script that is fun, and useful if you like to be able to get a spoken weather report quickly.  It uses the SAPI com object in Windows to convert text to voice. If you have more than one TTS engine on your PC, you will be able to modify it under the Windows Control Panel.

To start with you will need to create a function that will be used to convert text to voice.

function say


$Voice = new-object -com SAPI.SpVoice #Make a voice object using the com object.

$Voice.Speak( $Args[0], 0 )|out-null


The second part of this script comes from /\/\o\/\/. You’ll find a detailed post on how to connect to a web-service to capture weather information.  That is located here:

What I’ve done is to put his work into a function that allows you to select a country or city based on command line parameters, and then speak the results over your computer speakers. If you select the -help parameter and use the -country countryname parameter, all of the cities for your country will be selected.

Here is that function:

Function Get-Weather ([switch]$help,$city,$country,$filter = ”)


$weather = New-WebServiceProxy -uri

if ($help)


write-host “Starting help.”

$xml = [xml]$weather.GetCitiesByCountry($Country)

$xml.NewDataSet.table | sort city | Out-GridView






Now that the functions are out of the way, here is the “main” portion of the script.

#Determine if help switch is active.

switch ($help)


{$_ -eq $true }


get-weather -help -country $country





if ($full)#This is the full text output. No audio.


Get-Weather  -country $country -city $city


else #Audio output, streamlined for quicker information.


$currentWeather = get-weather -city $city

Write-Host $currentWeather

$currentTemperature = $currentWeather.temperature

$currentTemperature = $currentTemperature.split()

$currentSkyConditions = $currentWeather.SkyConditions

$wrsentence = “Here is the weather information you needed. In ” +  $city + ” the temperature is ” + [int]$currentTemperature[1] + ” degrees fahrenheit, and it is ” + $currentSkyConditions

say $wrsentence




I’ve used the default city of Memphis that I set up in the parameters, but it works just as well if I used the command line parameters.

I’ve saved all of this in a script called get-weather.ps1

Here is a sample using  Quebec, Canada

.\get-weather  -country Canada -city Quebec

If  I am not sure of all of the city names that are available for Mexico, then I can type:

.\get-weather  -country Mexico -help

This will open up an out-grid view with all of the cities available in Mexico.

Since I set Memphis as the default city in the parameters, just typing the following will give me local weather information.


If I want just screen output for a city, I can use something like the following:

.\get-weather -full -country canada -city Quebec

Give this a try and see if it works. Let me know if you have any questions.




User Home Folder Size and other Information (without Quest)

Frequently during my daily work I need to gather information on users that are contained in our Active Directory listing.  In a previous blog post, I had a script which does this work using a Quest commandlette.  Some environments don’t allow this, so a method to gather user data without using Quest is helpful to have available.
This script is used to quickly gather information on a users home folder, SAM account name, their email address, and the size of their home folder.

I use this a lot when I am moving users home folders from one server to another. To save time I frequently have the line that gathers home folder size remarked out with #.

The user account names that I am searching for are contained in a text file called
accounts.txt. This file is contained in the same folder as this script. The output is sent to the screen as well as a log file called output.csv.


$userArray = @(“SAMID,HomeDirectory,EmailAdress,HomeFolderSize”)
$allUsers = gc .\accounts.txt
$tempArray = @()
function logfile($strData)
Out-File -filepath output.csv -inputobject $strData -append
function getAccountInfo
$strName = $currentUser
$strFilter = “(&(objectCategory=User)(samAccountName=$strName))”
#Get User AD info
$objSearcher = New-Object System.DirectoryServices.DirectorySearcher
$objSearcher.Filter = $strFilter
$objPath = $objSearcher.FindOne()
$objUser = $objPath.GetDirectoryEntry()
[string]$folder = $objUser.homeDirectory
[string]$email = $objUser.mail
[string]$samID = $objUser.sAMAccountName
[string]$folderSize= getFolderSize($objUser.homeDirectory)

$result = “$samID,$folder,$email,$folderSize”
$result #This causes the output to steam out, and be piped as the return from the function.
$folderSize = $null
$fs = $null
function getFolderSize($strPath)
$fs = New-Object -comobject Scripting.FileSystemObject
#Check validity of $strPath
if ($fs.FolderExists($strPath))
[double]$tempSize = ($fs.GetFolder($strPath).size) / 1024 / 1024
$tempSize = ‘{0:N}’ -f[double]$tempSize
$tempSize = “Bad folder path!”
$header = “SAMID,HomeDirectory,EmailAdress,HomeFolderSize”
Out-File -filepath output.csv -inputobject $header
foreach ($currentUser in $allUsers)
$tempOutput = getAccountInfo $currentUser
$userArray += [string[]]$tempOutput

Let me know if you have any questions about this, or if it is helpful.


User Home Folder Size and other Information (with Quest)

Here is a function that can be used to quickly gather folder information about a user’s home folder.

There is one stipulation.

For this to work you must have the Quest Active Directory Snap-In configured for your Powershell session.
This will apply to users contained within an Microsoft Active Directory structure.
I have used the “^” in place of the “select-object” command. This is an alias that I use to make typing much faster. It is a symbol that I have never had a conflict on.

I have called the function GQUF. This is short for Get-QADUserFunction, but you may call it whatever you like of course.

Here is the syntax of the command. There are three options that are available when this command is run with the second command line switch.

“GQUF userid –groups” or

“GQUF userid -explorer” or

“GQUF userid –size.”

The –groups switch will detail all of the active directory groups in which the member is included.

The –explorer switch will open an explorer window pointed at the user’s home folder.

The –size switch will detail the total size of the user’s home folder.

Here is the code. See a screen shot at the bottom.


#This function looks up a user home drive and home directory

#Uses get-qaduser

function gquf


$UserID = $Args[0]
$Domain = $Args[1]

$result = Get-QADUser $Args[0] | Select-Object SamAccountName, homedirectory, homedrive, email, displayname # | ft -autosize

#$result | ft -autosize

Write-Host “Display Name:” $result.displayname -foregroundcolor green

Write-Host “Email Address:” $ -foregroundcolor green

Write-Host “HomeDir:” $result.homedrive $result.homedirectory -foregroundcolor green

Write-Host “”

Write-Host “Permissions for “$result.homedirectory -foregroundcolor Yellow

get-aclf $result.homedirectory

switch ($Args[1])


{$_ -eq “-groups”}


write-host “Member Of:”

(Get-QADUser $Args[0] | ^ memberof).memberof | sort


{$_ -eq “-explorer”}


explorer $result.homedirectory


{$_ -eq “-size”}


Write-Host “Calculating the size of the homefolder…” -foregroundcolor red

$fs New-Object -comobject Scripting.FileSystemObject

$tempSize $fs.GetFolder($result.homedirectory).size/1024/1024

$tempSize ‘{0:N}’ -f [double]$tempSize

Write-Host “$tempSize MB”




Here is the screen shot for the –size switch. Sensitive information has been blocked out.

Thank You,


Creating a Folder Named After a Date

I like to create folders on the fly for logging  purposes, as well as for keeping track of re-occurring actions, like scanning for disk usage on a given date.

The following PowerShell command is useful for creating a folder with a name in the format YYYYMMDD.

$folderName = “folder1_” + (Get-Date -uFormat  “%Y%m%d”)
This command makes a folder call folder1_20110226.

Another technique is do make the folder, and assign the date to the name all at once.

md (“folder2_” + (Get-Date -uFormat  “%Y%m%d”)).

Below you will see both techniques used, and then the old DIR command just to show that they were created successfully.

Make Folders with Date Names.

Instead of the DIR command I could have used the Powershell commandlette Get-ChildItem folder*, and it would have worked just as well.  I like DIR because I am use to it, and because it is less typing.

That’s all for this entry. Have a nice day.



Retrieving Shares in Powershell with WMI

Powershell one liners are a great way to work with Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).  One of the WMI features I use the most is Win32_Share. It is a fast and easy way to retrieve share information.

In this blog entry I would like to explore the capabilities of WMI by developing a WIN32_Share utility. To begin let’s look at the most simple command available.

Get-WmiObject win32_share

Basic WMI Win32_Share Command

You’ll see from the image above that we get back three types of information from this WMI query. Name, Path, and Description. It may not be readily visible, but we also get back several types of shares.  Above we see administrative shares, printer, and shares, and regular file shares. As a system administrator that is interested in managing the files shares available to my user I want to work with only file shares now.  We can add some syntax to filter the type of share that is returned. To do that we need to know the share type.

Here is a modified version of the basic command we used above:

Get-WmiObject win32_share | Select-Object name, path, description, type | Format-Table -autosize

I used the Powershell commandlette select-object to request four specific properties to be returned from the WMI query. They are name, path, description, and type.  Also, I’ve added the text “Format-Table -autosize” to make it all fit neatly on the screen. Here is the result of the query:

GWMI WIN32_Share with Select-Object

Now to make it even more useful, we only want the shares that would be accessed by our users. They don’t need access to the admin shares (type 2147483648), or the shared printer (type 1). To filter on the type property we can use the Powershell commandlette where-object:

Get-WmiObject win32_share | Select-Object name, path, description, type | Where-Object { $_.type  -eq ‘0’}| Format-Table -autosize

GWMI Win32_Share with Type Filtering

Finally we can use the sort-object commandlette to sort the WMI query based on any property we want:

PS>$ Get-WmiObject win32_share | Select-Object name, path, description, type | `>> Where-Object { $_.type  -eq ‘0’}| Sort-Object path | ft -autosize>>

WMI Win32_Share with Sort

One great feature of Powershell version 2.0 is the out-gridview commandlette. It allows you to sort and filter using a dotnet gridview. Here is the command a screen capture of the output. Notice how the actual command is much short as we are filtering and sorting in the resulting gridview object:

Get-WmiObject win32_share | Select-Object name, path, description, type | Out-GridView.

WMI Win32_Share with Out-GridView

So, that’s it for now. Next time we will expand this further to see how we can pull back the file shares from multiple servers at once.